S1c Jack Hazelip Stevens

Unknown Sailor

S1c Jack Hazelip Stevens

Navy life agreed with Jack Hazelip Stevens. At home in Kountze, Texas 65 miles northeast of Houston on a brief leave two months after enlisting in May 1940, Mr. Stevens told the local newspaper that he had gained 20 pounds.

Though Navy pay was meager, it was steady and included food and lodging. And though a seaman first class was assigned physical labor, Mr. Stevens already knew hard labor. The 1940 Census reported that he had worked 8 weeks the previous year and earned $60 as a road construction hand. HIs father, Albert, worked all 52 weeks as a school janitor in 1939 and earned $900. Albert and his wife, Ella Hazelip Stevens, a homemaker, had Jack and three younger children in the household. The combined pay of $960 was equivalent to about $18,000 in 2022 dollars.

Jack was born Oct. 3, 1920 in Beaumont, Texas about 20 miles south of Kountze, and graduated in 1939 from Kountze High School, where he was named the optimist in his class of 18. Kountze had a population of about 800. He also attended Lamar College (now University) in Beaumont for two years.

His father went to work at the Pennsylvania Shipyards in Beaumont when the war started.


Sources: the Beaumont (Texas) Enterprise; the Beaumont Journal; Census; Navy muster roll; Texas birth certificate; Texas State Historical Association. This profile was researched and written on behalf of the U.S.S. Arizona Mall Memorial at the University of Arizona.

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